Expat population in Oman at a 4-year low

The government wants to hire more local workers in private and public sector jobs. (File/AFP)
Updated 27 February 2019
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Expat population in Oman at a 4-year low

  • As of Feb. 25, 2019, expats make up only 43.7 percent of the country’s population
  • The decrease comes as Oman continues its efforts to nationalize its workforce

DUBAI:  Oman’s expat population dropped to its lowest since July 2015, as the country continued to step up its Omanization plans, which includes an expat visa ban.

As of Feb. 25, 2019, expat numbers were recorded at 2,040,274 totaling 43.7 percent of the country’s population, a 1.4 percent drop from the same period last year, according to the National Center for Statistics and Information.

In 2017, the expat population was at 45.9 percent and 45.1 percent the previous year, as reported by local daily Times of Oman.

The decrease comes as Oman continues its efforts to nationalize its workforce, hiring more Omanis in both private and public sector jobs than foreign nationals.

Indians, Bangladeshi and Pakistani nationals, which constitute the majority of expats in Oman, dropped by 4.1 percent, 4.8 percent, and 7.3 percent, respectively, compared to the same period last year.

At the end of January last year, Oman implemented a visa ban, which resulted in the hiring of 64,386 Omanis in private sector companies and establishments and 4,125 more in government agencies.

Gulf countries have been historically dependent on expatriate workers to power their economies; with a 2013 study indicating as much as 71 percent of Oman’s labor force are non-nationals. In Qatar, expatriate workforce was as high as 95 percent while in the UAE it was 94 percent; 83 percent in Kuwait; 64 percent in Bahrain and 49 percent in Saudi Arabia.

The Gulf states have since launched nationalization programs to absorb more of their citizens into the labor force, as well as address high levels of unemployment.


China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia up 43%

Updated 25 May 2019
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China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia up 43%

  • Imports grew to 1.53 million barrels per day compared with 1.07 million a year ago
  • Sinopec Group and China National Petroleum Corp., the country’s top state-owned refiners, are halting Iranian oil purchases for loading in May, three people with knowledge of the matter said

BEIJING: China’s crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 43 percent in April, making the Middle Eastern OPEC kingpin once again the top supplier to the world’s second-biggest economy, boosted by demand from new private refiners.
Saudi imports grew to 6.30 million tons, or 1.53 million barrels per day (bpd) on a daily basis, compared with 1.07 million bpd in the year ago period, according to data from the General Administration of Customs released on Saturday.
Saudi shipments were supported by higher refinery run rates at Hengli Petrochemical Co. Ltd, with production at the 400,000 bpd-capacity refinery in northeast China expected to reach optimal levels in late June. About 70 percent of the feedstock for Hengli came from Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile Russian supplies were 6.12 million tons, or 1.49 million bpd, up from 1.35 million bpd in April last year.
China in April imported 3.24 million tons of crude oil from Iran, or 789,137 bpd, up from March’s 541,100 bpd, as companies ramped up buying before the scrapping of sanctions waivers the US had granted to big buyers of Iranian oil.
China Petrochemical Corp. (Sinopec Group) and China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC), the country’s top state-owned refiners, are halting Iranian oil purchases for loading in May, three people with knowledge of the matter said.
Venezuela shipments stood at 1.9 million tons, or 462,813 bpd in April, up 85 percent versus 249,700 bpd in March, while crude imports from Iraq were 3.31 million tons, or 806,372 bpd, down from 904,500 bpd the previous month.